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Why choose the School of Applied Social Sciences

Over 95% of our Health and Social Care graduates are in employment or further study 15 months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes, 2023)

Our Health and Social Care courses rank 1st in their subject table for graduation prospects – outcomes (CUG, 2024)

With our Change Maker programme we ask you to take an active role in bringing about change and working towards social justice

About the course

This new, practice-focused Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ) has been specially developed by the University of Bedfordshire to give you the skills you need to take on the role of youth justice practitioner, working with young people in the youth justice system to stop them offending.

While youth justice policy is often geared towards punishing young offenders, practice is directed more and more towards supporting them to stop them offending. As a youth justice practitioner, you will work with children and young people aged 10-18 who are involved in offending or anti-social behaviour. They may come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have complex needs, perhaps involving mental health problems, safeguarding issues and/or substance misuse.

The role of youth justice practitioner is pivotal in helping a child/young person and their family keep their lives on track.

You assess an individual child’s needs then develop and deliver an intervention plan that promotes their resilience; supports their positive development; and helps them avoid offending/reoffending. This involves working with the family and building a positive relationship with them as well as working with other professionals including social workers, probation officers, police officers, schools, health agencies, court staff and staff at ‘secure estates’ such as young offender institutions and children’s homes.

What is a Higher Technical Qualification (HTQ)?

HTQs are a new qualification equivalent to a HND and approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. This Level 5 HTQ meets the occupational standards for the sector and, after successfully completing the course, you have the specific training, knowledge and skills required to work as a youth justice practitioner.

Why choose this course

  • It covers both theory and practice in real and simulated environments, allowing you to develop the occupational skills and behaviours you need for the role
  • It gives you a theoretical foundation in youth justice and its policies, evidence-based approaches and interventions
  • It is delivered by the University’s School of Applied Social Sciences, which has a strong history of training professionals to work with children, youth and families
  • Our external partners – which include voluntary and statutory agencies working in the sector - contribute to the course delivery, providing support, additional specialist knowledge and experience
  • It is designed and delivered in partnership with local employers, offering a practice-led and competency–based curriculum built on professional codes of ethical conduct; statutory guidance on safeguarding; and the law pertaining to young people within the criminal justice system
  • You learn a range of transferable skills including problem-solving; decision-making; having professional conversations; and presenting arguments
  • If you are already working within the social care or youth justice sectors, the course is an ideal way to upskill or change direction to fill skills shortages and workforce gaps

with Professional Practice Year

This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.

There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.

*Only available to UK/EU students.

with Foundation Year

A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course.

Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification.

With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire.

The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.

This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.

Why study a degree with a Foundation Year?

  • Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
  • Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
  • Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
  • Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees

The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.

During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.


What will you study?

Virtual Placement 1 – Working With Children, Young People And Families

This work experience opportunity will enable students to demonstrate through direct practice, simulated practice, virtual placements, assessed work and reflective learning logs their understanding and ability to apply theory to practice in various contexts. You will draw work-based or work-related  experience to evidence your skills in undertaking a role relevant to competencies and key skills related to your HTQ pathway

Effective, Ethical And Inclusive Practice Skills In Supporting Children, Young People And Families

What skills, knowledge and values underpin the ways in which front line practitioners engage children, young people and their families using their services? 

This unit will enable you to develop the skills and knowledge that form the basis of relationship-building with service users across children’s social care, youth work, health, criminal justice and educational settings. You will explore the range of theories, models and methods of intervention that underpin the development of effective relationships when supporting children, young people and their families. It will enable you to identify, analyse and apply the skills required to build rapport with children, young people and families to improve and sustain outcomes and should be considered as an important starting point to your study of working with children and young people.


The key themes which this unit will focus on are how do professionals recognise human need and how should they respond to meeting identified needs including the recognition of how inequalities impact the way service users engage with support.

The models and underpinning theories will be practiced in the classroom to prepare you for the realities of practice.

Understanding And Applying Key Foundational Knowledge, Legislative, Policy And Practice Frameworks

What does it mean to be a ‘professional’ in careers that support the needs of children, families and young people? 

What does it mean to behave ‘professionally’ within the degree-related sector that you will enter and what are the essential interpersonal skills required in the workplace, including how you relate to clients, colleagues and managers, regulators etc. and how these are informed by ethical practices and the principles of social justice in order to create change and address inequality.

This unit is designed to explore the frameworks that define professional practice for those working in the sector as well as key foundational knowledge required for practice. It will examine children and young people’s lives through historical, sociological and philosophical perspectives and will also draw on different theoretical perspectives of child and adolescent development and explore how social, economic, technological and cultural change, alongside difference, diversity and inclusion shape various narratives around contemporary childhood, adolescence and family life. Content will also include professional values, behaviours, ethics as well as the requirements of legislation and application of codes of practice, e.g. safeguarding, confidentiality, health and safety, HCPC, OfSTED etc. 

The unit is relevant to students who intend to work with children, young people and families, both in formal and informal settings. It provides a broad understanding of the theories underpinning the studies of childhood, youth and families that is relevant to professional practice across family, health, social care, criminal justice, education and community settings. You will gain a clear understanding of what being professional means in this context.

Introduction To Academic Study And The Workplace

This is the first unit on your course and designed to support your transition into a higher education environment by giving you the foundational knowledge and skills you’ll need to help you succeed as you progress further in your degree. It will enable you to develop your understanding of the skills and conventions of academic study in higher education and the important professional frameworks within your particular discipline. It will help you recognise the transferability and relevance of this knowledge for, your work with service users and professional colleagues in the workplace.

You will learn constructive oral and written communication and the effective and ethical management and presentation of knowledge and information that are essential for both academic work and your future professional practice. You will be encouraged to identify your own academic strengths, areas for development, and strategies to support your academic and professional growth through personal development planning.  If you are already in work, you’ll be able to identify your transferable skills and how these can meet the unit’s requirements. 

By the end of the unit you will have increased your academic confidence and digital literacy by gaining an understanding of key academic skills such as assessment planning, how to effectively use BREO, searching for and sourcing academic material, academic integrity and how to construct essays, presentations and the consideration of their application in both academic work and professional contexts.

Skills For Employment

This unit builds on the work undertaken on L4 on work-based skills and the virtual placement. The graduate job market is a highly competitive arena. As such within a student’s career journey, it is essential to prepare for graduate employment and to have a realistic awareness of, the ways in which the professional work place operates and the skills, knowledge and experiences that are expected and desirable for their successful transition into employment

This unit will allow you to undertake activities that allow for the understanding of personal values, strengths, and developing a realistic vocational or employment self-concept. This unit will introduce these frameworks and enable you to consider your career planning in an informative and structured approach as you continue through your studies by recognising and most importantly, valuing, your lived experience. 

The teaching will provide career development  interventions to assist students’ ability to identify their transferrable skills and articulate their experience, skills and attributes in a confident, meaningful and positive manner in order to successfully secure their desired career destination.

Conducting Assessments, Delivering Interventions And Evaluating Outcomes In Practice


Building on learning from the first year of the course, this unit fosters students’ critical appreciation of the legislative, policy and operational environment of the range of services relating to assessment in child welfare and youth justice, in order to develop their professional employability. 

 You will examine in depth some of the overarching issues for children, young people and families in need of intervention, safeguarding or to support and supervise sanctions and penalties. You will also have the opportunity to explore and understand the issues that trigger statutory duties to safeguard children and the wider social political / social policy contexts in which they occur by considering consequent interventions in line with professional values, including the child’s voice, anti-discriminatory practice.  It will locate these issues within their wider social, political, legislative and practice contexts of child welfare and youth justice and explore the essential skills and knowledge underpinning practice, for example, evidence-based approaches to assessment, affording you the opportunity to examine these alongside current research evidence, expert opinion and practice initiatives.

As part of this unit, students will attend skills workshops that will offer the Certificate in Working Together to Safeguard Children and Young People, accredited by LCSB’s in Bedford, Luton and Central Bedfordshire

Youth Justice In The Uk: Contextual Considerations In Practice

This Unit will introduce you to the legal and administrative framework of the contemporary youth justice system, the mechanisms for delivery of youth justice services and current debates surrounding policy and practice. The Unit will start by focusing upon the establishment of a separate youth justice system in the early 1900s to the present day, and will identify the political ideologies and criminal justice and social policies which have shaped the contemporary youth justice system within England and Wales ever since. Within this framework, you will analyse the relationship between the changing knowledge base of youth justice and will consider the impact of these developments on the evolution of professional practice within youth justice, including the contested debates about ‘what works?, and how adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) impact the criminal careers of children and young people. 

Virtual Placement 2 Working In Youth Justice

This Work Experience Unit in your final year of study will enable you to demonstrate, through direct practice, simulations and virtual placements assessed work your understanding and ability to apply and evaluate the occupational standards of a Youth Justice Practitioner. In order to meet the requirements of this unit, you will be expected to synthesise, apply and evaluate your understanding of current theory, methodologies, research, policy and legislative frameworks building on learning from the first year of the course.

How will you be assessed?

A variety of teaching methods are employed across the FdA in order to encourage the acquisition of subject knowledge and foster the subject specific and transferable employability skills associated with the course learning outcomes. These teaching methods include lectures, discussion-based seminars, presentations by class members, group-work, tutorial activities, problem solving, computer-based activities, problem based learning, and online interactive activities using


The curriculum is designed to meet the growing demand for qualified people trained to take up a career within youth justice in the statutory voluntary and growing private sectors. It also opens the way to further study at degree level in a related field such as Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons) or Criminology BSc (Hons).

Entry Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points including 32 from at least 1 A-level or equivalentGCSE grade 4/Functional Skills Level 2 MathsGCSE grade 4/Functional Skills Level 2 EnglishSafeguarding checks, including an Enhanced DBS, and Occupational Health check are required

Entry Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points including 32 from at least 1 A-level or equivalentGCSE grade 4/Functional Skills Level 2 MathsGCSE grade 4/Functional Skills Level 2 EnglishSafeguarding checks, including an Enhanced DBS, and Occupational Health check are required

Fees for this course


The full-time standard fee for a Foundation Degree for the Academic Year 2024/25 is £9,250. These are the full course fees covering each year of study.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email


International students cannot apply for Foundation Degrees.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email

Fees for this course


The full-time standard fee for a Foundation Degree for the Academic Year 2024/25 is £9,250. These are the full course fees covering each year of study.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email


International students cannot apply for Foundation Degrees.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email

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